Procurement Transformation with Digital

Procurement functions are playing a critical role for accelerating recovery. Most enterprises are building on the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and reshaping their sourcing and procurement functions to emerge stronger. In this context, the top order of focus of procurement functions are:

  • Enhanced Visibility: Greater visibility into our supply network helps correctly identify risks and capacity constraints. According to a recent global survey, 92% of enterprises are doing what they can to create more visibility within their supply chains, while also focusing on increasing transparency with suppliers and buyers as a top risk mitigation strategy.
  • Better Supplier Relationship: Enhancing supplier relationships is a good way to reduce future problems and minimizing supply chain risk. The same survey found that over the next few years, 42% manufacturers expect to strengthen relationship and increase transparency across their supply chains.
  • Dynamic Customer Demand: Being close to the customers helps understand their changing needs and manage inventory levels accordingly.

Let us look at some of the technologies that enterprises are adopting to automate procurement:

Solutions that automate the invoice to pay process are being adopted in an accelerated manner. The solution enables auto posting of invoices, keeps a strong audit trail of workflows and delivers various reports that provides visibility on invoice and payment status to both internal stakeholders as well as suppliers.

Enterprises are employing RPA to automate repetitive administrative tasks in supply chain processes and integrating and automating data-driven activities as well. Some of the RPA use cases in supply chain are in the areas of order processing and payments, supplier selection, email automation, inventory management, logistics and shipment tracking, supplier onboarding, sales order creation among others.

As enterprises continue to carry out their processes virtually, digital signatures present an effective solution to accelerate processes and maintain transparency.

Advanced analytics are gaining popularity in being deployed in areas such as product quality testing, dynamic pricing etc. The availability of real-time supply chain data such as dynamic sales data and weather patterns provides the ability to make accurate predictions and recommendations.

Supply chain management has been one of the leading beneficiaries of IoT and the technology is facilitating improved efficiency, performance, and business output through connected supply chain management. IoT finds application in live tracking of movement of goods, in-store merchandise tracking, fleet management and several others.

Through self-learning and natural language, AI solutions can help automate various processes in the supply chain such as production planning, demand forecasting or predictive maintenance. According to a recent survey, 61% of executives report decreased costs and 53% report increased revenues as a direct result of introducing artificial intelligence into their supply chains. AI provides enterprises with end-to-end visibility, reduces manual work and facilitates informed decision making.

Enterprises are fast tracking automation of the procurement function with digital. They realize that this is the foundation to accelerating the pace to recovery in the new world order and could deliver a significant competitive advantage when done early.